Spring 2014 Newsletter 2

Spring Newsletter 2014

Hi everyone. Spring is the time for a good clean out using the new young leaves that nature offers us. Winter with too much cold for too long, and maybe an immune challenge or two, can leave us tired with cold and damp insides.  

Traditionally the annual spring internal cleansing with herbs is to clean out the parasites, toxins, worms, and the build-up of bacteria and viruses we may have battled through winter. This clean out will restore our digestive ability and the strength of our immune systems  while reviving our liver.

Dandelion leaves (Taraxacum officinale) are great for Spring salads and can be found growing everywhere in the countryside – be sure you know which is the medicinal plant. There are three out there which seem to confuse people.  The young leaves  have a fresh bitterness which is great for the liver. Helping to produce digestive juices , clean toxins out of the blood and healthy gut bacteria to thrive, dandelion is a restoring supportive healer. The roots can be roasted to make a replacement for conventional coffee.  

The bitterness of dandelion increases as the summer goes on –  but they continue to have their beneficial medical effects.  Always pick the youngest leaves in the plant. These will be the least bitter. If you are in the city you can sometimes buy them on stalls in growers markets. Or you can buy leaves of chicory at your veggie shop and use these in your salads instead. Chicory has similar medicinal actions and supportive properties.

Wild fennel lines the railway tracks and the edges of parks all over Sydney; and the road sides of the Blue Mountains and the Southern Highlands. Fennel  offers itself to us from Spring to the end of Autumn. First the bulbs appear around the bottom of the plant – you can find them in supermarkets among the veggies – chop them up like onions and add them to Spring soups and salads.  Then the leaves, a tender and delicious explosion of deep green lushness, when the plant is lower to the ground. You can add these leaves chopped up finely to anything for flavour and digestive help.

Slowly this plant grows taller and taller and the feathery leaves get stretched out along the main stem. The flower heads are like little umbrellas with lots of tiny, yellowy, lime green flowers. These are also delicious and medicinal, like the leaves and stems. The seeds appear in autumn and have the strongest medicinal actions. Collect these and dry them for your winter medicinal supplies.

 Fennel seed tea, brewed strong and left to infuse, or brew, for half an hour, taken 4 times a day, will increase milk production for nursing mothers.

Fennel is great to mix with bread, fish or meat. It helps you break down oily foods and stops the wind and bloating from undigested foods in your belly. Mixing the seeds into bread is also an old tradition. This helps stop the undigested grain from turning damp, fermenting and cloggy inside you. Fennel’s medicinal qualities can help you digest food more easily and lose weight.

The health benefits of adding it to your diet have been written about since the time of Pliny in 77 A.D. The ancient Greeks revered it as giving strength, courage and long life. Their name for it was marathon.

Basil appears in pots again among the vegetables. Grow some on your kitchen window ledge or on your balcony. Pop it into good potting mix and a larger pot so you get healthy strong growth. This tasty sweet tonic herb restores vital force with warming, restoring, simulating and relaxing results in our bodies. The medicinal actions of basil are anti-depressive, digestive, anti-bacterial and expectorant.

Traditionally used for thousands all over the world in a medicinal strength preparation to treat chronic bronchitis, wheezing, exhaustion, chronic sinus congestion, indigestion, nausea, epigastric pain, chronic nervous depression,  respiratory and intestinal infections. So pop it into everything you cook, make salad dressings with it and get stuck into pesto big time. Your vital force will become awesome!

My personal news is that I have a Facebook page called – Linda Bates Herbal Medicine – please join me – or is it friend me!! My website (www.lindabatesherbalmedicine.com ) is growing as I get the time to add more and more information to help you all. Of course some of my herb medicines and creams are available through the website. I’m nutting out how to blog and twitter and Instagram and use my new tablet my beloved bought me for my birthday in May. So I’m swigging brain support herbs and hoping I have time to sleep very soon!!!

I will be teaching the summer intensive manufacturing retreats at Pindari Herb Farm in Tasmania in January and February. I will be working alongside Sandra Parker, a lovely traditional herbalist, who has been teaching there with Ken Atherton for some years. Sandra and I will take participants through what Ken has been teaching and add some manufacturing methods, products and skills of our own to this week of deep communication with healing herbs. You can find more details of these 6 day intensives by looking at www.pindariherbfarm.com   

My biggest news is that I have an associate – a wonderful herbalist, Laura Wilson, in Bowral. Laura studied with me years ago at Nature Care – and kept in touch because she loved growing and manufacturing – like me. We became friends and went wild crafting together a few times and have even shared the support of a few southern highlands clients. So we have great creative, think alike, ease of communication. Laura can do everything I do with clients, and herb medicines. So as I move more and more into teaching, Laura will run the dispensary side of things and as I need to hand over clients I have total confidence in her ability to support them.

I have 3 other talented and  gifted people who have joined me to support the growth of my academy. My nephew, Jonas Lemmon, who designs and build my website and teaches me how to run it. Dear Jonas has guide me through the pitfalls of being computer literate for 15 years now. His partner, Tanya McAllan, who is my amazing graphics designer and responsible for all my lovely flyers and labels and ……………………..advice. Now I also have Don Agahari who is teaching me how to use social media to reach people and offer my knowledge. . He will also help me build online courses. Wow, what a lucky woman I am.      


Off to the Blue Mountains I go in mid-November ( only 2 weeks from now) for wild crafting and medicine making for my own dispensary. I will be available to take wildcrafting walks, for identification and collecting medicinal herbs, from Katoomba and Blackheath on the weekend of November 22nd and 23rd. Please contact me on 0431 867 220 or by email on linda-bates@optusnet.com  if you want to join in the walks.

Workshops will be resuming next February and March 2015 in the Blue Mountains, Nambucca Heads and Mullumbimby.

I promise to keep in touch and do my best to let you know dates with plenty of notice.

With good wishes for good health and many blessings coming your way

and love